It won’t be long now, and we’ll soon have a menagerie of ghost, goblins, and witches at our door looking for sugary treats. We want to make sure how home and yard is safe for the trick-or-treaters, so there are 9 safety tips for Halloween we can tend to ahead of time to prepare for the spookiest day.
A dimly light walkway definitely adds to the eerie ambience of Halloween, but it breeds potential for injuries. Make sure all your outside lights are working and on so kids can see where they are walking. Often they are wearing a mask that may limit their peripheral vision. You may also want to consider added flood lights to expose the darker areas of your yard. Even if you are not going to be home, it’s highly recommended that lights are left on to dissuade would be vandalizers.
Trick-or-treaters are too excited counting candy to focus on where they’re walking, so it’s imperative you scan your yard for any possible trip and slip hazards. Be sure your yard is clear of tripping hazards like hoses and sprinklers. Sweep walkways and steps of any loose gravel, leaves and dirt and remove any clutter. If you have pumpkin or other Halloween ornaments on your steps, make sure they are not going to hinder access to and from your door.
If you have steps up to your door, little monsters and their parents may need the support of your railings. Ensure these are secure with the proper bolts so they can handle any pressure. A shaky stair railing is an accident waiting to happen.
A spooky lit jack-o’-lantern creates the morbid mood for candy seekers, but any prop using real flames can be dangerous. Flowing costumes, paper or plastic bags and ornamental decor can easily catch on fire. Instead of a traditional lit candle, use battery powered ones; you’ll have peace of mind then. If you use lit props in your home, ensure your smoke detector is working properly.
Having a deluge of trick-or-treaters ringing your doorbell every minute can traumatize your pets. It can affect their behavior, and they may lash out and bark or bite innocent goblins. They may also run out and trip or tip little toddlers over simply because they’re happy to see them. This is not good for kids or your pets. Put your pet in a cozy room with their favorite blanket or toy and leave them there until the hustle and bustle of the evening’s events have passed.
Buying Halloween candy is a lot of fun, but some thought and consideration should go into what kind we purchase. Avoid candy that poses a choking hazard for toddlers, and keep in mind that a number of children have peanut allergies. Even if the candy doesn’t contain peanuts, it could be made in a facility that handles peanuts. Check the candy bag’s label for a peanut allergy warning. We like to give out small Skittle and Twizzler packets. Also, it’s very important to tell your kids not to eat any candy until they get home and you’ve had time to inspect their loot.
It’s very obvious that masks will interfere with vision. They will affect your child’s peripheral vision and depth perception, so a better option would be to paint on a mask. There are lots of creative ideas and patterns on the web that can blend harmoniously with your child’s costume. If that’s not an option, try cutting bigger eyes holes to see through, and be sure to make your kid aware of how it will impact their vision. Dark costumes are harder to see at night and this can create a hazard. Some options are to wear lighter colored costumes,or use reflective tape or add glow stick to their costume.
In our area, it’s a practice to take toddlers and younger kids out Halloweening while there is still daylight. Parent and kids are more easily spotted by drivers, the kids get to enjoy the experience of trick-or-treating, and they will be able to go to sleep at their regular bedtime as well.
Older kids may be embarrassed to go out with their parents, but they should travel in peer groups. They can take their cell phone with them, and parents can track them via a location sharing app. This will allow you to see where your children are in the neighborhood and assist them quickly should the need arise. Some apps have a panic button to warn parents of immediate danger. Discuss in advance the route your children will take and have them stick to the plan. We don’t want kids to criss-cross back and forth across the street. They should work their way up one side of the street and then start on the other. Kids should never visit houses that are not well lit, and never go inside a stranger’s house.